Nutrition

Dairy Abstinence April

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That title sounds a bit crook, doesn’t it…

A few years ago I attended a job interview and was predictably asked to list a couple of my weaknesses. I said “ice cream” and “pizza” and we laughed. The interviewer then asked, “No really, what are some of your weaknesses?” I started crying and again said “ice cream” and “pizza”…

Whilst that anecdote is not completely accurate, there are elements of truth to it. And given that it has been a few months since we have rolled out one of our world-famous challenges, we thought, “Let’s start a dairy free challenge …

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A raw vegan experience

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A few weeks ago, Team UNITED (so, just me) took up a raw vegan challenge – basically five days of eating in line with a raw vegan lifestyle. According to the internet, “raw veganism” is also sometimes referred to as “absolutely awful”, which we found to be more accurate.

The back-story is that when it comes to food and nutrition, about the only things I am confident in are broccoli and water. Everything else seems to be the most amazing thing ever, and dangerous, at the same time depending on who is telling the story. With this in mind, for …

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A few days in the life of a raw vegan

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Image via https://www.fix.com/blog/the-truth-about-raw-foods/

[Please note that the UNITED household is a vegetarian household so whilst we may take the piss out of vegans, it’s from a place of love and admiration, and some dietary frustration.]

According to probably science, the two hardest things in life are giving birth, particularly if the child has a head as big as mine was, and living a raw vegan lifestyle. This week we have decided to take on the easier of these two scenarios – raw veganism.

Background

From the outside, raw veganism may seem like a lifestyle of self-righteous eating habits that needs …

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7 Day Barcode Ban: The outcome

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This was way harder than I expected. Seven days of meals without using any ingredients that were packaged or had a barcode on them certainly identified how convenient my eating habits had become.

[To skip to the crux of the experience, click here – dot points]

The first observation was how much preparation was required for each meal. The process of getting hungry and then eating something straight away has become a habit for me, so to actually plan ahead for every meal was a chore to begin with. I also established that without the aid of additives (oils, …

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A ban on barcodes

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Hi team, welcome to October.

Having watched our fair share of food/health/industry related documentaries, the most recent being Food Choices, the common thread is that a plant-based whole-foods diet is favoured as the most environmentally sustainable, and best for ideal human health. Aggressive debates aside, it seemed to us that the logical progression from being an observer was to become a participant. Whilst the Project UNITED household has been a vegetarian household for about five years, we (well, me. I’m pretty sure Mrs UNITED will shake her head and leave the room) have decided to accept the challenge …

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6 foods we miss most as vego’s

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Mrs UNITED and I are vegetarians and have been for about five years. We aren’t ranty painful vegetarians, just a regular, highly attractive couple that don’t eat meat. It has been pointed out that as a vegetarian CrossFit athlete myself who cuts his own hair, it is a miracle that I have any friends at all, but for the record, I am very happy with the one I have. Hello Matthew.

There is no doubt that vego’s miss out on some kickass foods, and based on our last five years of meatlessness, here are our six most regretful sacrifices:

1.

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Top #5 breakfast venues in Brisbane

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…for vegetarians in Brisbane’s inner South East. Yes that is very specific.

Intro and caveats

Over the course of the last two and a half years or so, Mrs UNITED and I (yes that’s right, I’m married, sorry ladies) have journeyed across the inner South Eastern suburbs of Brisbane doing breakfast on most Friday mornings at any new and exciting establishments that we can find (I’ll be the one wearing at UNITED shirt, not because I am peddling my own brand, but because I don’t really have any other clothes). We aren’t “foodies”, so we certainly don’t have any credibility …

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This is the greatest smoothie of all time

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It is impossible for something to be objectively the “best ever”, because it would need to be statically superior in every way to everything else in its class, and be able to be measured against different contexts, environments, and scenarios. But this smoothie is the best ever, without doubt.

For breakfast, a snack, a treat, or to celebrate being tops, this smoothie is the Swiss-army knife of smoothies – the Swiss-army smoothie if you will.

Prep time: 2 mins Cook time: 1 mins Total time: 3 mins
Makes about 600mls

Ingredients

For a change, we are actually going to suggest …

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Five unusual Christmas foods that are quite… unusual

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Each year, my mum whips up her famous trifle. Though each year it is becoming more and more like a bowl of brandy that some cake pieces fell into. With that in mind, here are five highly unusual Christmas foods that you may care to avoid.

The unusual Christmas foods list

1. Fried Mopane (fried caterpillars), South Africa

Mopane caterpillars are large thick worms that live on the Mopane trees in South Africa. Mopane are black in colour with green and yellow bands wrapped around their bodies. They are scaly, and use short black or red spines as protection. The …

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Things to consider when going meatless (or meat reduced)

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The popularity of vegetarianism and veganism is certainly on the rise. Whilst these dietary lifestyles aren’t for everyone, those who pursue these lifestyles may do so for various reasons, from animal welfare and humanitarian issues, to general health related issues, or simply in order to reduce the weekly grocery bill. But if you were considering adopting a plant-based diet, here are some things to consider when going meatless.

Going meatless

Once the menu-shock of removing meat from your dinner plate subsides, there are some strategies you may need to consider in order to transition to a veggie-based regime whilst …

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What is nutritional yeast?

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We ran a recipe on Friday which included nutritional yeast in the ingredients list. If you hadn’t come across nutritional yeast in the past, you may have been a bit like, “Wha wha whaaaaaat?” Or similar. So here’s the lowdown:

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is made from an organism called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (we call him “Sachy” for short) which is grown on molasses, and then harvested and dried with heat in order to “deactivate” it. Nutritional yeast belongs to the fungi family making it 100% vegan.

Nutritional yeast is unlike baking yeast or brewer’s yeast meaning it will …

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No barcode November

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The Discomfort Zone Challenges have been one of the great initiatives of 2015 (according to us, and our mums). Having just finished up with October (30 Day Burpee Challenge), here is November’s Discomfort Zone Challenge:

No barcode November

Far less physically irritating than last months burpee madness, November is about World class food choices.

What’s the point?

Two points, and thanks for asking:

  1. Health: The more a food is handled, the less control and knowledge we have of what has been added to or removed from the item. This makes healthy decision making more complex and sometimes counterintuitive. For example,
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Contains no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives

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Any food or drink items that come in packets, boxes, cans, or bottles will likely contain additives which are indexed by a numbering system. These numbers vary depending on the nature of the additive. The additive numbering system is broken up into groups to make it (marginally) easier to determine what classification the additive falls into (preservatives, sweeteners etc.) For example, food additive 120 (may also go by the name of carmine), an extract from a species of bug, falls into the colour category. See below.

A food additive is any substance that is not normally consumed as a

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Non-dairy milk alternatives

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For any number of reasons, choosing non-dairy milk alternatives has become increasingly popular. We have chosen five non-dairy based alternatives to profile for those considering a mooove (lols) away from animal milks:

  • Almond
  • Coconut
  • Oat
  • Rice
  • Soy

All of these varieties have their benefits, all have a unique flavour, and all have varying degrees of nutritional value.

Almond milk

[Sources Livestrong.com, Fitday.com]

Pros Cons
  • Typically contains as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk.
  • Rich in other vitamins and minerals including potassium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin E, copper and selenium.
  • Low in saturated fat and has no dietary
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Black, white, or green?

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We’ve been hearing for a while now of the benefits that drinking a cup or two of tea each day can do for us. From hydration, to relaxation, to managing blood pressure, tea is basically a GP in the form of grass clippings. In this post we will look at the health benefits (and any potential concerns) of each type of tea – black, white, and green.

Black tea

Black tea is typically the strongest flavoured of tea varieties, has the highest caffeine content, and makes up about 90% of Western tea sales.

Black tea has been associated …

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Know your dietary tribe, part #2

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In part #1 we looked at the first five of 12 dietary tribes:

  1. Omnivore
  2. Macrobiotic
  3. Raw foodist
  4. Vegan
    a. Fruitarian
  5. Vegetarian
    a. Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian
    b. Lacto-vegetarian
    c. Ovo-vegetarian
    d. Ovo-lacto vegetarian
    e. Pescetarian
    d. Pollotarian

In this post we look at vegetarianism and the variations within the category – flexitarian or semi-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, ovo-vegetarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian, pescetarian, and pollotarian.

Vegetarian

Vegetarianism is an umbrella term encompassing a number of variations within a “meat free” or “meat restricted” lifestyle.

Vegetarianism is fundamentally a diet based on the removal or restriction of eating meats (including seafood and poultry) and the by-products …

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Know your dietary tribe, part #1

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[Part #2 here]

Across the next two Monday’s (including the one we are currently enjoying), we identify 12 (yep, twelve!) dietary tribes and outline what makes them what the are. We have left Paleo out largely because we covered it here.

Who makes the 12 tribes?

Most of us know the main ones – veganism and vegetarianism for example, but there are a few which you may not know so well:

  1. Omnivore
  2. Macrobiotic
  3. Raw foodist
  4. Vegan
    a. Fruitarian
  5. Vegetarian
    a. Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian
    b. Lacto-vegetarian
    c. Ovo-vegetarian
    d. Ovo-lacto vegetarian
    e. Pescetarian
    d. Pollotarian

In this post …

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The Zone diet

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The Zone diet is a dietary protocol created by American biochemist Barry Sears. The Zone diet is intended to stabilise blood sugar levels, balance hormone levels, lower inflammation, and generally promote good health. The Zone diet was created by Sears to avoid the risk of heart disease which claimed all of the other men in his family.

The principal of the Zone diet is to consume three meals and two snacks each day consisting of a ratio of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates. Calories are also a component of the Zone diet with women being allowed approximately 1200 …

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I’d like to get healthy…

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A couple of weeks ago, a colleague of ours who is not currently in the greatest of shape emailed us with a product he was considering substituting into his diet to replace a few meals in order to lose weight. He had heard about meal replacement shakes and regular protein shakes and thought it may be worth investing in a few serves to help him achieve his desired size. The truth is that weight control and general food health had always been an issue for this colleague and despite trying numerous regimes, had never been able to establish a consistently …

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Are protein supplements necessary?

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If the worldwide supplement industry value of US$396m is any indication, protein supplements continue to be a booming trend. But is there any actual genuine benefit to taking a protein supplement for those who already have a reasonably healthy diet? The short answer? Maybe…

Where protein supplements can be effective

Barbara Lewin, a dietitian and sports nutritionist who has worked with NFL, NBA, and NHL athletes and trained Ironman competitors suggests a few reasons why regular athletes may require more protein in their diet. Lewin identifies five groups that may require additional protein supplementation to maintain ideal health:

  1. Those experiencing
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